The Gatorade Team of the Week for the sixth week of the Canadian Premier League action in 2021, brought to you by Kristian Jack and OneSoccer's Oliver Platt.
GoalkeeperCallum Irving (Pacific FC)
Right BackMorey Doner (HFX Wanderers) Second straight appearance at right back for one of the league's finest full backs after another stellar outing. There is something quite assuring about watching this Halifax team at the moment. At all stages of the game, even behind early to a set-piece goal, they look confident and mature in their decision-making. In Doner and Jake Ruby they had full backs who were excellent in a 2-1 win over Atlético Ottawa with the pair each gaining possession eight times (a team-high).
Centre BackAmer Didic (FC Edmonton) There has been some social media clamour for Didic's inclusion on the Gatorade Team of the Week recently and the Eddies' fans will not be surprised to see him named this week after a monumental performance at the heart of the FC Edmonton defence in a 3-1 win over Valour FC. Didic was brilliant at the back, leading and reading the game with eight clearances, as well as getting his first goal of the season, when his thumping header from Fraser Aird's corner crashed into Jonathan Sirois' net. Alan Koch has worked really hard on this team's identity without the ball and in Didic he has a real tone-setter. “He’s a fantastic footballer,” Edmonton coach Koch said of Didic specifically postmatch. “You mention long passes, but he can pass short, middle range, he can spray the ball all over the place. Whatever we need him to do, because he has that in his toolkit.” Abdou Samake (Pacific FC) Another debutant centre-back on the Gatorade Team of the Week and another one - like Didic - who fans will have no complaints over if they watched how comfortable he was in Friday evening's Pacific FC home opener. Cavalry FC came into the match in great form and always present attacking challenges, but the former Michigan Wolverine was commanding again next to the impressive Lukas MacNaughton. Still only 24, Samake is starting to cement himself as someone that Pa-Modou Kah can rely on regularly -as he continues to deputize for the injured Thomas Meilleur-Giguere - and against Tommy Wheeldon Jr's men he led the team in interceptions and clearances, while completing close to 92% of his passes (57/62).
Left BackKwame Awuah (Forge FC)
Central MidfieldHunter Gorskie (FC Edmonton) This team wouldn't have felt right having Didic in it without Gorskie. As Charlie O'Connor-Clarke pointed out in his match analysis, the American's role in central midfield, as opposed to centre-back where is more featured, was a direct reason for FC Edmonton's dominance over Valour FC at Clarke Stadium. Gorskie has a good understanding of the game and compliments Ramon Soria well in midfield and when he has to release the ball he does so with a purpose and understanding of wanting his team to cherish it and maintain possession. Elimane Cisse (Forge FC) Another week and another midfielder from the champions in our team. Cisse, much like teammate Awuah, seems comfortable in the shadows of stars like Kyle Bekker, Tristan Borges and others, but when you watch him he isn't static enough to be in anyone's shadow. Cisse's engine drives Forge forward and as his touch map (below) shows this is an all-around midfielder who covers ground like few others at this level. Continues to thrive in a partnership with Bekker inside a double-pivot midfield that do everything three midfielders can do.
ForwardsMarco Bustos (Pacific FC)
StrikerTobias Warschewski (FC Edmonton) Alan Koch has a gem on his hands here. The 23-year-old German is such a unique profile of a player in the Canadian Premier League that teams continually struggle to handle him. He deservedly gets a place in the Gatorade Team of the Week thanks to an inspiring performance where he scored his first goal of the season against Valour FC (he has already had multiple goals disallowed this season). His goal was important for him and his team - the first time both he and strike partner Easton Ongaro have scored in the same game this season - but it was his overall impact once again that helped Koch's side secure all three points. Dortmund-born Warschewski won 13 (a game-high) of a combined 24 duels won by the front two that allows FC Edmonton to go direct when they need to but this is far more than a man who is dominate in the air, he has soft feet for a player with such stature and holds the ball up really well to allow the Eddies to play off and sustain attacks.